Vista the OS is very big. The most helpful thing that sped up my Vista was a program called Vlite. This is a very simple and helpful program to cut out unwanted components in Vista. For example, the special computer accommodations for blind people. Not many people need these. All you need to do is extract a copy of any version of Vista to a folder. In Vlite select that folder and it will give you options. You can preintegrate hotfixes, drivers or files so you already have them after installing Vista. You can set setting so you don't have to after installation. Once your done, it will make that folder into an .iso for you, so you can burn it and boot from the disk. Or mount it with PowerISO. I will probably post more detailed instructions later but that is another instructable. Here is the freeware: http://www.vlite.net/index.htmlhttp://www.vlite.net/index.html
Important: You will need to obtain an authentic/genuine version of vista
to do this. AKA a Clean
version. Those dumb recovery discs that they gave you won't work. Microsoft has encrypted them.
Always remember to test your new Vista as a virtual machine just to check that you didn't screw anything up.